Auto Bike Light: On When Moving Off When Not

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If you’re plagued by perpetually dead bike light batteries you’ll like this one. It’ll also fix the problem of remembering to turn the lights on in the first place. This hack uses an accelerometer to switch the light when the bike is in motion.

In this case the bike light was chosen for its ability to fit the control board inside the case. But with this proof-of-concept you can easily spin a tiny board with uC and accelerometer to replicate the functionality (the Bluetooth module shown above is going unused in this application). Many accelerometer chips have low-power mode that can be used to was a uC so we could easily see this having very little impact on the normally battery life of your light. The one caveat being the need to regulate the voltage as many of these lights take a 12V cell.

The other alternative is to make sure your battery is always charging during the day. This solar setup is one way, but then you won’t want to leave the thing unattended.

 

Get Ready for Hackaday Munich by Attending Make Munich

make-munich-headerNeed something to get you revved up for the Hackaday get-together in Munich next month? Don’t miss out on this year’s Make Munich.

The two-day festival will be held in Munich on November 1st and 2nd. Last year there were about 2500 in attendance and this year is shaping up to be even bigger! Wander through the exhibits to see what others have been building during their spare time. You’ll see everything from 3D printing, to custom electronics, crafts, art pieces, talks, and more. What a wonderful way to draw inspiration for the projects you want to pull off this winter!

What’s that you say? You have something to show off at Make Munich? You could always just carry it around with you but maybe it’s better to apply for a booth or to give a talk.

Seeing all that Make Munich has to offer should get you excited about doing some hands on hacking and you’ll have the chance just a couple of weeks later. The Hackaday crew is hard at work planning our own afternoon hackathon and evening party. Block out your calendar on Thursday, November 13th. We’re not quite ready to give away free tickets but watch the front page for an announcement soon!

We’re lucky to have a lot of people in the Munich area helping get the word out. A special thanks to [Nils Hitze] who is organizing Make Munich and has already connected us with a lot of interesting parts of the hacker community in the area.

Unreal Line-up and Live Stream of Hackaday’s 10th

10th-Anniversary-Lineup-scaledYeah, check out that line-up poster. We’re so lucky to have an unreal collection of talented people pitching in to make this event happen. This Saturday is going to be Epic! Good thing since we’re celebrating 10-years-of-Hackaday!

What’s that you say? You don’t live in Los Angeles and are going to miss out? We’ll be live-streaming the event on:

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You should put this feed on in the background while you hone your solding skills on that project you’ve been meaning to finish.

We will also be recording and posting the talks so that you may watch at your leisure.

Here’s a quick run-through of all that we have going on:

Ticket-buttonThe day will start with three workshops, the first is a tiny-robot build based on [shlonkin's] design. The second is a lockpicking workshop hosted by [datagram] and [Jon King]. And the third is a Lithium charger workshop and build hosted by [Todd Black].

The afternoon brings the mini-conference with major talks by [Ryan '1o57' Clarke], [Steve Collins], [Quinn Dunki], [Jon McPhalen], and [ThunderSqueak]. There will be Lighting Talks by [Tod Kurt] and [Arko], as well as special appearances by Hackaday head editors from the past decade.

In the evening we’ll move into party mode. Music is presented by [The Gentlemen Callers] with interactives by [Deezmaker] and [Two Bit Circus].

Of course there will be a handful of the Hackaday writers in town for the event as well. [Adam Fabio] will be leading the robot workshop, [James Hobson] will be leading a build-off throughout the day, and [Mike Szczys], [Brian Benchoff], and [Bil Herd] will be on hand to do whatever is needed.

If you are interested in attending there may still be tickets available. We have been sold out but we’ve asked anyone who is unable to attend to cancel their ticket so new tickets become available as that happens. Yep, fans of Hackaday are courteous people. Yet another reason to celebrate.

[Poster Art by Joe Kim -- Full Resolution 15.5MB]

Content Centric Networking and a tour of (Xerox) PARC

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You may be used to seeing rack mounted equipment with wires going everywhere. But there’s nothing ordinary about what’s going on here. [Elecia White] and [Dick Sillman] are posing with the backbone servers they’ve been designing to take networking into the era that surpasses IPv6. That’s right, this is the stuff of the future, a concept called Content Centric Networking.

Join me after the break for more about CCN, and also a recap of my tour of PARC. This is the legendary Palo Alto Research Company campus where a multitude of inventions (like the computer mouse, Ethernet, you know… small stuff) sprang into being.

[Read more...]

Countdown to Finals

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There can be only 5.

This Sunday Night we will snapshot the state of the final 50 entries for The Hackaday Prize. Our panel of Launch Judges will then begin the difficult task of choosing the five projects which best exemplify the virtues of the challenge: Openness, Connectedness, Innovation, Wow Factor, Reproducibility, and User Experience.

Want to help your favorite project make the finals? Get in there and take a look at their write-ups. Leave a polite comment on the project page that mentions the parts that are unclear or things you think should be added to the description.

The five who do move on are up for some huge prizes: A trip to space, Milling Machine, a 3D Printer, a trip to Akihabara, and Team Skydiving. Of course we won’t know the order of the finalists or who the Grand Prize Winner is until the final judging round happens at the end of October.

Speakers at Hackaday’s 10th Anniversary

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It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce the final slate of speakers for Hackaday’s 10th Anniversary on October 4th in Pasadena. There are still around 30 tickets left for the conference so get yours now!

The most recently confirmed speaker is a man of many names. [Ryan Clarke] may be better known as [LosT], [1o57], or [Lostboy]. For years he has been driving the flagship contest at DEFCON by generating cryptographic puzzles that run far and deep through the 4-day conference and beyond. His talk will venture into the art and science of putting together these challenges, and the lengths at which determined hackers will go to solve them. His site gets taken over each year for DEFCON, so you might want to explore his Twitter account if you’re looking to learn more about this mysterious figure.

The other four speakers have already been mentioned in the initial announcement and last week’s follow-up. [Steve Collins] will discuss how his early interest in hacking led him to become an engineer at NASA. [Quinn Dunki] will have her scratch-built Veronica computer on hand and explain the adventure of the impressive project. [ThunderSqueak] will help us wrap our minds around the concept of non-binary computing, and [Jon McPhalen] will present the benefits of multi-core embedded processing versus traditional interrupt-based design.

We can’t wait for this amazing afternoon of talks which is just one week from Saturday. We hope to see you there!

Cheap Multimeter Gauges Embedded Idle Time

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How often is your microcontroller actually doing something? You can find out by measuring idle time, but how exactly do you do this? [Jack Ganssle] shows that simple embedded applications can toggle a pin when idle, which can then be measured. More complex applications like those using a Real Time Operation System can do the same by making use of the idle hook. But what can you do to make this toggling pin feedback actually mean something?

His solution is to repurpose an analog multimeter. The meter is interface with the toggle pin and a trimpot calibrates the needle. This way the needle jumps when the processor is busy and returns to zero when idle. What a great tip for getting a little more feedback about what’s going on inside of that black plastic IC package. It’s not surprising to find such a clever hack from one of the Hackaday Prize judges.

While you’re in the analog multimeter aisle you might want to pick up a couple of extras for more alternate data displays.

[Read more...]

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